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Rushden Echo, 15th February, 1907, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council

Another Appeal From The Ratepayers’ Association
The Council Decline To Wait For The Election

  A meeting of this Council was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday night, when there were present: Messrs. T. Swindall (chairman), F. Ballard (vice-chairman), F. Knight, G. Denton, J. Claridge, G. H. Skinner, J. Hornsby, A. Mantle, C. Bates, W. Bazeley, and A. J. Dobbs, with the Clerk (Mr. G. S. Mason), the Surveyor (Mr. W. B. Madin), The Sanitary Inspector (Mr. H. Hunter), and the Medical Officer (Dr. F. H. Morris).

Plans, &c., Committee

  A meeting of the Plans, Water, Highways and Lighting Committee was held at the Council Buildings, on Wednesday, the 30th January, 1907, when there were present:- Messrs. T. Swindall (chairman), J. S. Clipson, G. Denton, A. J. Dobbs, A. Mantle, and F. Knight.

Plans

were presented by:- 

  The British Women’s Temperance Association, per Mr. H. Adnitt, for alterations to the Old Temperance Hall.  The Committee were not satisfied that the buildings were provided with safe and convenient means of ingress and egress, and the plan was referred back for this to be shown thereon.

  Mr. H. Sartoris for conversion of shop, No. 25, Duck-street, into a dwelling house and passed.

  Mr. S. C. Whitehouse for four houses in Gordon-road and passed.

Steam Fire Engine

  The Fire Brigade Sub-Committee reported that the members who visited Wellingborough on the occasion of the trial tests of the new steam fire engine there expressed themselves thoroughly satisfied with the work of the engine and the results obtained.  The Sub-Committee had since obtained from the Wellingborough Authorities a copy of the specification of the engine supplied to them the price of which with certain accessories was £300.  The Committee recommended the purchase of a similar engine for Rushden with additional hose to the value of £50.

  The matter was considered at length and ultimately it was resolved that the Sub-Committee obtain from Messrs. Merryweather and Co. and Messrs. Shand, Mason, and Co. estimates for the supply of a similar engine to that at Wellingborough with its accompanying appliances.

Wentworth Road

  The Committee who had previously met in the morning on the site had under consideration the making up of this road.  The Surveyor’s estimate of the cost amounted to £534/12/5.

  The Committee were of opinion that the preferable course to adopt would be for the Council to carry out the work under an arrangement made with the owners by which they would contribute the amount expended with the usual five years’ maintenance.  If, however, the owners were unable to fall in with this suggestion the Committee recommend that the Private Street Works Act be put into operation and the street made under the provisions of this Act.

Council Buildings

  The Surveyor was authorised to expend a sum of £2 in planting some shrubs in the yard at the rear of the buildings.

Brook, Bedford Road

    The Surveyor reported that a portion of the retaining wall of the brook near Mr. Asher Abbott’s property had given way.  He was instructed to inform the County Surveyor thereof and ask for his instructions.

  The report was adopted.

Finance, &c., Committee

  A meeting of the Finance, Estates, Cemetery, and Sanitary Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, the 6th February, 1907, when there were present:- Messrs. T. Swindall (chairman), F. Ballard, W. Bazeley, C. Bates, J. Claridge, J. Hornsby, and G. H. Skinner.

Surveyor’s Cash Account

  The Committee examined the Surveyor’s cash account with the wages books, the expenditure shown therein being as follows:-


£

s

d

Week ending 3rd January, 1907

38

5

11

Week ending 10th January, 1907

29

8

2

Week ending 17th January, 1907

29

8

8

Week ending 24th January, 1907

31

17

0

Week ending 31st January, 1907

31

1

10

Treasurer’s Accounts

  The Committee also examined the Treasurer’s accounts, from which it appeared that he had received the following sums on the undermentioned accounts:-


£

s

d

Free Library, Sale of Periodicals

4

19

7

Raunds Fire, Extinguishing Exs

10

10

6

Telephone Co., Rent of poles

3

6

0

Total

18

16

1

And that the following balances were in hand on the undermentioned accounts:-


£

s

d

General Account

1,170

9

5

Loan Account No. 16

557

1

11

Loan Account No. 18

333

11

3

Total

2,061

2

7

Tradesmen’s and Other Accounts

  A number of accounts were examined and passed for payment.

Health and Sanitary Reports

  From the Medical Officer’s monthly report it appeared that only one case of infectious disease had been notified since the last meeting, viz.:- of scarlet fever.

  The Medical Officer informed the Committee that in consequence of the prevalence of measles in the town he had advised the closing of the infant departments at Moor-road, Alfred-street, and Newton-road schools, which advice had been acted upon.

  The Sanitary Inspector reported that 25 factories and workshops and 69 outworkers’ premises had been inspected during the month.  Several cases of overcrowding in out-workers’ premises had received attention.  The Inspector submitted details of his inspections made during the month, nuisances discovered, and notices served.

Medical Officer’s Annual Report

  This report was received and copies ordered to be circulated amongst the members of the Council before the next meeting which it was understood the Medical Officer would attend.

  The Sanitary Inspector’s report for the year was also received and ordered to be circulated with that of the Medical Officer.

Stables

  The Clerk reported that he had negotiated the loan of £400 required for the erection of stables, with the Royal Liver Friendly Society at 4 per cent.  The annual yearly instalment of principal and interest combined, extending over a period of 30 years, was £23/2/8.  The mortgage deed would be submitted to the Council at their next meeting for sealing.

  Approved.

Sewage Farm

  The Surveyor reported that the Farm Sub-Committee had given instructions for the draining of the centre bed of the new part of the farm.  The work was proceeding and the estimated cost was £25.  The Committee approved.

Small Pox Hospital

  Alterations:- The special Sub-committee appointed to visit the hospital reported that they met there last week and recommended that one of the two large pantries be converted into a scullery and a copper and sink provided; the floor boards to be taken up and replaced with hard and impervious floor.

  The Committee approved the recommendations and authorised the work to be proceeded with, estimated cost £6.

  Caretaker’s wages:- It was resolved that the wages of Mrs. Buckle be increased from 4s. 0d. to 5s. 0d. per week from this date.

Park Place Drainage

  The Inspector asked the instructions of the Committee with regard to the outfall drains from Park-place into Newton-road.  He was instructed to have the same thoroughly examined and, if found defective, made good.

Dairies, Cowsheds, &c.

  It was resolved that bills be posted in the town calling the attention of persons carrying on the trade of cowkeepers, dairymen or purveyors of milk within the Urban District to the fact that such persons must be registered under the Dairies, Cowsheds, and Milkshops Order of 1885.

Slaughter Houses

  The Inspector called attention of the Committee to the desirability of making bye-laws for the regulation of slaughter houses.

  It was resolved that the matter be brought forward for consideration at the next meeting.

  The report was adopted.

The Ratepayers’ Association

  A letter was received from Me. Geo. Bayes, secretary of the Ratepayers’ Association, stating that at a public meeting held at the Public-hall under the presidency of Mr. A. H. Sartoris, the following resolution was carried with only five dissentients:- “That this meeting of the Rushden Ratepayers’ Association is strongly of opinion that the proposed expenditure on a steam fire engine, purchase of horses, building of stables, etc., should be deferred until the new Council is constituted.”

  Mr. Denton moved that the suggestion be acceded to.  He did not see that any harm would result, and it was perhaps only due to the expression of opinion by a considerable section of the community.  It might be sacrificing their dignity to some extent, but they could afford to pocket that, because all they desired was to serve the best interests of the town.  A short delay was not likely to be injurious to the town or he would be against it.

  Mr. Claridge seconded the motion, and thoroughly endorsed Mr. Denton’s remarks.

  Mr. Skinner thought that they as business men should think very carefully before undertaking any

Additional Responsibilites,

and should wait a few weeks until they saw whether the town was prepared to support them.

  Mr. Dobbs said it was no surprise to him that the Ratepayers’ Association passed that resolution, because about 90 per cent. of those present were members of the Association and yet they declined to allow him to speak in opposition.  He was still of opinion that the Council should go on with the scheme for the stabling, &c.

  Mr. Knight said that if 90 per cent. at the meeting were members of the Association it was evident that the Association was deserving of some consideration.  He should, of course, support Mr. Denton’s motion.

  Mr. Bazeley said the Labour members were pledged to do what they could to get their own horses and carts.  They had a mandate from their supporters to do that, and would be wanting in their duty if they took any other action than that which they had taken.  The more he looked into the question,

The More Contemptible

did the opposition appear.  The Ratepayers’ Association were not in such a good position to judge as were the elected representatives of the people.  The Association would be a nine days’ wonder, as in other places.  It was a lot of rubbish, and if the Association sent all their members to the Council they might not make such a good show as the present Council had done under great difficulties.  With regard to the fire engine, he contended that it was one of their first duties to take steps to prevent fires, especially when it was remembers what a disastrous thing a factory fire was for the men employed there.  He thought it was their duty to carry the two schemes through, if possible, before they went out of office.

  Mr. Ballard said he had been in favour of the proposal of Mr. Hornsby, but would like to hear what Mr. Hornsby and Mr. Bates had to say as to postponing the matter for a time.  He was still in favour of the schemes, however.

  The Chairman said he did not like to give way, but though he would support the proposals whenever they were brought forward he saw

No Harm in Deferring Them.

  Mr. Hornsby said he had never had a mandate from the town on the subject, but the members of the Labour party had, and the town had had the subject before them for ten years.  He thought the opposition was due to undue influence somewhere.  When it was proposed to spend thousands of pounds, there was no opposition, but when a few hundreds were in question there was very strong opposition.  Why was it?  Twenty-nine large towns had been written to with regard to whether direct scavenging was advantageous or not, and particulars received showed that Rushden would be better situated even than those towns were.  He went on to read expressions of opinion strongly in favour of the Council doing their own work, and asked what further proof they wanted as to which was the right course.  He certainly thought they ought to go on with the scheme, and should oppose Mr. Denton’s motion.

  Mr. Knight: Have those towns refuse destructors?

  Mr. Hornsby: I have no information on that.

  Mr. Ballard asked what guarantee the town had that they would have a tip for the refuse.  He should not be prepared to go in for a refuse destructor at present.

  The Chairman said they had offers from several gentlemen to take the refuse.  He himself was

Quite In Favour of The Proposals,

but was not opposed to the motion of Mr. Denton.

  Mr. Denton was not opposed to the town eventually getting their own horses and stables, but at the present time considerable pressure was felt by the ratepayers of the town.  Was it not wise, therefore, to adapt themselves to circumstances?  Horses and stables and a fire engine were necessary things, he admitted, but he thought they must recognise that the present was not the time to provide them.  In a short time, he hoped, trade would revive and they might be in a better position to find the money.  The town had grown phenomenally, but was now in a stagnant condition.  He believed Mr. Hornsby’s proposal was inevitable in time, but he still urged that the matter be deferred.  He was only sorry that at the very end of their term of office they should be divided, not on a matter of principle, but on a comparatively small matter.

  The voting resulted as follows:-

  For the motion to defer the matter – The Chairman, Messrs. Denton, Knight, Claridge, and Skinner.

  Against – Messrs. Ballard, Hornsby, Dobbs, Mantle, Bates, and Bazeley.

  The motion was thus lost by six votes to five.

  Mr. Bazeley moved that the seal of the Council be fixed to the loan for the stables, &c., and the motion was carried.

  Mr. Hornsby moved that the Surveyor in instructed to obtain tenders for the carrying out of the work.

  Mr. Bazeley seconded the motion, which was carried.

The Steam Fire Engine

  Mr. Bates, in accordance with notice, moved that the Clerk in instructed to apply for a loan of £350 for the purchase of a steam fire engine.  He thought the matter had been well thrashed out.  Some of the ratepayers objected, but those who elected the labour members give them a mandate for the provision of a steam fire engine.  Rushden had suffered seriously through fires, and men had been thrown out of work in consequence for long periods.

  Mr. Mantle seconded the motion.

  Mr. Denton asked whether it would not be futile to ask for a loan until they had the estimates before them.

  Mr. Ballard said he was about to raise the same question.  He suggested that Mr. Bates should withdraw his motion till the next meeting.

  Mr. Bates accordingly withdrew the motion.



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